At the Oscars 2014 Nominees' Luncheon, Jared Leto, who is nominated for his first Oscar for his role in "Dallas Buyers Club," talked to reporters about his mother, gaining and losing weight for roles and how he handled a heckler.
Check out 3 highlights below and watch videos of Jared Leto at the event above (includes clips of him on the red carpet and showcasing his sparkling Louis Leeman loafers to reporters).
1. On finding inspiration from his mom, who accompanied him to the 2014 SAG Awards ...
(In response to a question from OTRC.com correspondent George Pennacchio of parent company KABC-TV)
"What a nice question to start with," said Leto, 42. "You know, we were born very poor and in pretty humble surroundings and my mother always wanted to do something better with her life. She wanted to do something better for her children. She was a dreamer, she was a worker. She still is. So I think the biggest inspiration and the biggest lessons she taught me was to dream and then, to do the work that it takes to make dreams a reality."
"So, it's been fun to bring her around and, you know, you get these opportunities to stand up here and say something. The best part is to be able to thank the people that have believed in you for so long and, of course, you know, I could spend every single one of these events thanking my mother and talking about my mom. She's the best."
2. Would Jared Leto gain weight again for a role?
Leto starved himself and lost 30 pounds to play transgender HIV-positive patient Rayon in "Dallas Buyers Club." (See PHOTOS). He had gained 67 pounds to play Mark David Chapman, the convicted killer of Beatles singer John Lennon, in the 2007 movie "Chapter 27."
"I would never do that again because it's really brutal," Leto said at the Oscar Nominees' Luncheon. "It's not a lot of fun and it's really bad for your body and maybe I would lose a little weight but not like I did before, I certainly would never gain weight again for a role. Remind of me that, please. If I ever start the process."
3. On talking privately with the heckler at the Santa Barbara Film Festival ...
At the 2014 Santa Barbara Film Festival in January, Leto spoke about his "Dallas Buyers Role" at a panel event and was heckled by an audience member (watch VIDEO), who was not pleased he was receiving an award at the event for playing a transgende woman. He later spoke to the woman and her friend offstage.
"It was great," he said about their chat. "I thought it was wonderful. I think 'heckler' is a bad term, you know. I mean, really, it was a debater -- someone who felt like they needed to take a moment, a public moment to say something that was on their minds, something that meant something to them."
"So, I'm a believer in the debate. I think it's healthy. I think it's positive. Certainly, it's not like I can't learn something. I got plenty to learn so somebody has an opinion or an idea -- a well-though-out one, I'm all ears. So we had a really nice, cordial talk afterwards and I think the planet's better for those kinds of interactions."
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, which produces the nationally syndicated entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).